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two bowls of oyster stew garnished with green onions and cayenne pepper served in black bowls with a spoon resting on the side
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Oyster Stew

Oyster stew, laced with heavy cream, herbs and briny bivalves, is a delicious Christmas Eve tradition served in the Southern United States. But don't reserve this just for the holidays. It's delicious any day of the year!
Course Christmas, Entrees, Main Courses
Cuisine American, Cajun and Creole, Southern
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 346kcal
Author Lisa B.


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup diced green onions plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 pints raw oysters with their juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons minced parsley optional
  • Cayenne pepper optional


  • In a medium saucepan, heat milk and heavy cream over low heat. Do not let the pot come to a boil.
  • In the meantime, melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat.
  • Add the celery. Sauté for five minutes.
  • Add the green onions. Sauté for two mintues
  • Add the minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Gradually whisk in the flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, to remove the raw flour taste.
  • Gradually add the warmed milk and cream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the oysters with their juice. Bring the soup back to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low again and cook for an additional 10 minutes until the oysters are cooked through.
  • Season with salt and pepper to your preference.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with minced parsley and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper if desired.


Leftover oyster stew should be refrigerated within two hours. Transfer it to an airtight container with a lid and be sure to consume it within 3-4 days. I have had great success reheating this stew. Just heat it slowly over low heat on the stove. Don’t allow it to come to a boil or the milk will curdle and the texture of the oysters will become tough and chewy.
Unfortunately, oyster stew does not freeze well. The cream will separate once thawed and the texture becomes runny and watery.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1.2g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 460mg | Potassium: 417mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 6.9g